Tabu is one of the greatest living film actresses in the country. She acts primarily in Hindi films, but at times she has acted in Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali and even in English films. She has won the best actress national award twice and been awarded six Filmfare award for best actress. In the year 2011, Government of India honored her by awarding Padma Shri to her.
Tabu’s original name was Tabassum Fatima Hashmi. She was born on 04-11-1971. Her parents were Jamal Hashmi and his wife Rizwana. Her parents divorced soon after her birth. Her mother was a teacher and her maternal parents ran a school after retiring as Professors. Tabu is the niece of famous actress ShabnaAzmi.
Tabu first appeared in the film named ‘Bazaar’ in the year 1980 and her next film was in the year 1985 when she was only fourteen years of age. That film was ‘Hum Naujawan’ in which she played the role of the great actor DevAnanad. In the Telugu film ‘Coolie No 1 she got her first role as a major artist in which she co-starred with Vekatesh. In 1987, Tabu acted in the movie named ‘Prem’ in which she co-starred with Sanjay Kapoor. It took eight years for completion and was a big flop. Luckily her career turned well in spite of the worst beginning of her first film.
In 1996, eight films of Tabu were released. ‘SaajanChaleSasurai’ and ‘Jeet’ were great hits and were included among the top five movies of that year. ‘Maachis’ got critical acclaim and gave her the first national award for the best actress. ‘Kalapani’ the critically acclaimed Malayalam block buster was also released during this year. This year she had the luck to do her debut film in Kollywood, ‘Kahaldesam’.
In the year 1997,’Boarder’ was released. Though she played only a small role in this film, the film became one of the biggest hits of the year. ‘Virsat’ was another Tabu starrer of that year.
1999 saw the release of ‘Biwi No:1’ and ’Hum Saath-SaathHain: We stand United’ which became the first and second successful films respectively of that year.
The year 2000 saw two Tabu starrers ‘Hera Pheri’ and ‘Astitiva’. Her performance in ‘Astitiva earned her the third Filmfare award for the best actress. In Tamil she did ‘KandukondainKandukondain’ directed by Priyadarsan and another Malayalam movie ‘Cover Story’ was also released during that year.
‘Chandni Bar’ released in the year 2001 in which she portrayed the role of bar dancer earned her the second national award for the best actress.During this period she got opportunity to act in a number of Telugu movies. ‘Coolie No.1’, ‘NinnePelladutha’, ‘Chennakeshava Reddy’, ‘Pandurangudu’, ‘Nandamuri’, ‘Balakrishna’, ‘Andarivadu’,’AavidaMaaAvidaa’, ‘AkkineniNagarjuna’ etc. are some of them.
In the year 2003, Tabu played the role of Lady Macbeth in the adaption of Shakesphere’s Macbeth. Her film named ‘Maqbool’ was premiered at the Toronto International Festival.
In 2006, she did a supporting role In ‘Fanaa’ with Kajol and Ameer Khan. This film became the fourth biggest hit of that year.In the year 2007, she acted in aHollywod film ‘Namesake’ which was directed by Mira Nair. In another sensational film she played the role of a 34 year old woman falling in love with a 64 year man played by Amitabh Bachan. Though the performance of this film was moderate in India it fared very well in overseas countries especially in UK and USA.
In the year 2008, when she was 38, she made a re-entry to Telugu movies through the film named ‘Pandurangudu’.In 2010, she played the lead role in ‘TohBaatPakki’ a romaticcomedy which was her return to Bollywood after a gap of three years. But the film was a commercial failure. She also acted in ‘KhudaKasam’ co-starred by Sunny Deol and another Chopra film ‘Banda YehBindaasHai’. She did a come back in Malayalam film ‘Urumi’.
Her second Hollywood film Life of Pai was released in the year 2010. In the year 2013, she acted in ‘David’ a bilingual film in Hindi and Tamil. She did a comeback to main stream cinema by acting in ‘Jai Hoi’ in which she co-starred with Salman Khan. She in ‘Maqbool’ which is an adaption of Shakespher’s Hamlet performed very well and this gave her much critical acclaim. After a gap of 14 years she paired with Ajay Devgn in the remake of Malayalam film ‘Drishyam’.